A significant shift is coming
Last month, Gravity Forms announced the first beta for their major 2.5 release, and let me just say it’s massive! Among the many new features to look forward to, the most notable changes include a Gutenberg-inspired Form Editor with native column support, and a more intuitive admin interface—both wholly reworked to provide a more user-friendly experience.
Diving under the hood, you’ll find this release has a major focus on accessibility, with the front-end form mark-up and CSS simplified and rebuilt to help ensure your new forms are WCAG2.0-compliant (guidelines for accessible web content) out of the box. The Gravity PDF and GravityView team has also contributed to the release with the addition of some very useful new mergetags for user and date formatting. If you want to see the full list of changes, check out the Gravity Forms docs.
In the pipeline...
The extensive changes coming in Gravity Forms 2.5 makes it feel like the start of a new era for form building. And with Gravity PDF being one of a small handful of Certified Developers for Gravity Forms, keeping a seamless integration with the new interface and features is a must! To that end, and to make this transition manageable for our team, we’ve decided the best way forward is a major release that only supports GF2.5 and higher. Not to worry though; we’ll continue supporting the current version of Gravity PDF (v5) for at least 12 months after GF2.5 is released.
What to expect?
Our team is actively working on Gravity PDF 6.0, which will fully support Gravity Forms 2.5, but because we’re right in the middle of development we don’t have many concrete details to share at this point. What is certain at this stage is the minimum system requirements are changing to the following:
- PHP 7.3+
- WordPress 5.3+
- Gravity Forms 2.5+
Moving the minimum from PHP 5.6+ to 7.3+ is a huge leap, but it will benefit all our users long term. First, PDF generation is resource-intensive, and upgrading from 5.6 to 7.3 is a quick way to speed up the PDF generation process. Moreover, PHP 5.6, 7.0, and 7.1 have all reached their End of Life (and 7.2 only has a few more months of security releases left). Going with an actively supported version of PHP means fewer bugs and security issues, and third party libraries we make use of can also be kept on an actively-supported version, too.
When's it coming?
Our team is firing on all cylinders to have Gravity PDF 6.0 completed before Gravity Forms 2.5 is officially released. However, Gravity Forms themselves don’t have a fixed release date and so we’re aiming at a moving target. For now, our team is working on getting a beta release in your hands as soon as possible, so both it and Gravity Forms 2.5-beta can be tested together. To keep on top of our progress, subscribe to our newsletter (below).